1950s In the 1950s, the American Dream was to have a perfect family, a secure job, and a perfect house in the suburbs. What is the American dream of the 1950s? Where did the American Dream come from? After world war II, returning servicemen were given opportunities to put themselves through college, and many of them were the first in their families to earn a degree. Because of this, there was a huge difference in the growing post-war middle class, and its ability to own a house and to provide for their children. Where did the American Dream come from? (continued) America emerged from World War II as the weathiest & most powerful nation on the planet. There was an economic boom; jobs were available, and America was considered to be a “land of opportunity.” To many, the “American Dream” stopped being a dream and became reality. So with victory under their belts and money in their pockets, Americans pursued “the dream.” The American Dream: The House The ideal “American Dream house” in this time period would be a decent sized house, with a big front yard and a white picket fence. An important part of the American dream
was to have a television set in the living room,
and in the evenings families would sit
around watching TV together The American Dream: The house (continued) To keep up with the housing boom,
builders mass-produced “cookie cutter”
tract housing (houses that looked
identicle)making owning a home
affordable to millions The American Dream: Jobs Most people in this era wanted to be a lawyer, a doctor, or work for the government. Usually women didn’t work if they could afford it, instead they were housewives The American Dream: Cars Part of this ideal lifestyle was having a nice car for your family. Automobiles rolled off the assembly line of the big three companies; Ford, General Motors and Chrysler The American Dream: Family The biggest part of the dream was to have a family; mom, dad, and two children (a boy and a girl) The American Dream: Family (continued) Women were expected to stay home cooking, cleaning, and caring for their children. Men would work hard outside the home, and children went to school.